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Cuts give Sisco, Araujo roster spots with O's

Highly regarded catcher wins spring competition; Susac, Vielma optioned
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles' top catching prospect, Chance Sisco, will break camp with the big league club, along with Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo, a 24-year-old right-handed reliever.

Baltimore optioned Andrew Susac to Triple-A Norfolk before Friday's 6-1 win over the Rays, effectively ending a spring catching competition and giving Sisco a chance to start the season in the Majors alongside Caleb Joseph.

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles' top catching prospect, Chance Sisco, will break camp with the big league club, along with Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo, a 24-year-old right-handed reliever.

Baltimore optioned Andrew Susac to Triple-A Norfolk before Friday's 6-1 win over the Rays, effectively ending a spring catching competition and giving Sisco a chance to start the season in the Majors alongside Caleb Joseph.

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Spring Training: Info | Gear

"We felt like Chance played well enough with some things we are going to need there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's his time to kind of break in."

Video: TB@BAL: Sisco cranks three-run homer to deep left

Showalter let some of the relievers break the news to Araujo, who couldn't stop smiling as he recounted the story with team translator Ramon Alarcon.

"I was very surprised when I opened the door and I saw these guys over here, [Darren] O'Day and [Mychal] Givens," Araujo said. "I'm like, 'OK, what did I do wrong here?' But they told me right away. O'Day said, 'Do you remember the [pitchers' fielding practice]?' I said, 'What PFP? What are you talking about?'" Araujo said, laughing. "And then he told me, 'You made the team -- congratulations.' So I was very happy."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Infielder Engelb Vielma was also optioned, leaving the O's with 35 players in Major League camp.

Sisco, 23, has played in 17 Grapefruit League games this spring, hitting .419 with two homers and 10 RBIs, giving the team a feel for what he can do. Araujo entered the spring as one of three Rule 5 pitchers; lefty Nestor Cortes Jr. remains a candidate. Araujo has allowed two earned runs in 8 2/3 spring innings, striking out eight and walking two. The righty spent most of last year with the Cubs' Class A Advanced affiliate.

"I saw my teammates, those two that are in the same situation that I was, Rule 5," Araujo said. "They're more veteran than me. They have more experience than me. Maybe they've been pitching a little bit longer. Maybe it was an advantage, but I felt confident that I could compete, that I could make the team, and that I could beat them, so I'm really happy that I'm here."

Rotation coming into focus

The Orioles have finalized their rotation for next week's season-opening series against the Twins, with right-handers Andrew Cashner and Kevin Gausman getting the ball after Dylan Bundy, who will open the season on Thursday.

Righty Chris Tillman will start the fourth game of the year, on April 2 against the Astros in Houston.

The O's have not decided who will pitch fifth, though they have some options, given their off-day on March 30. Bundy could pitch the second game in Houston, on April 3, on regular rest, or the club could promote a starter from Triple-A or go with a long reliever.

Video: BAL@NYM: Cashner strikes out Frazier to end the 1st

Newly signed righty Alex Cobb, who will not be ready for the start of the season, will be stretched out at Double-A Bowie. The timing of his debut is still to be determined.

Beckham day to day

Infielder Tim Beckham said on Friday morning that the groin injury that forced his removal from Thursday's 10-7 win over the Red Sox is minor, and both he and the club are optimistic he isn't headed for the disabled list.

"I'm taking it day to day," said Beckham who homered before exiting. "I feel like I'm ready for the season. A couple more reps would be great, would be awesome, but I'm definitely confident going into the year that we're going to have a good season and we're going to play good baseball."

Video: BOS@BAL: Beckham drills a two-run homer to center

Showalter said that Beckham would get treatment on Friday and Saturday and won't play before Sunday.

"We could leave him back here [in Florida] to play in a game," Showalter said. "That's something that's being discussed -- a game or two if we wanted to take more time with the treatment -- but we aren't there yet. We'll see where the next couple of days go."

Worth noting

Cobb will throw a three-inning simulated game on Sunday in Sarasota, and the team will decide his next move from there. Cobb could pitch as early as the O's second series at Houston.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Chance Sisco